Originally at https://searchenginewatch.com/2016/01/26/how-hub-pages-and-internal-links-are-paying-off-for-mail-online/

Combining hub pages for key topics and keywords with a well-planned internal linking can be a very effective SEO strategy.

It helps to ensure that, when you are creating content around a topic regularly, that you can rank consistently for the relevant keywords.

I’m going to use examples from Mail Online which, by some accounts, is the most visited English-language newspaper site on the web. That doesn’t mean it’s the best – far from it – but it does provide a useful subject for this post.

Mail Online recently started using hub pages on a consistent basis for many of its most popular topics, though not for all.

This gives us an opportunity to see what effect this has had. So here I’ll look at the strategy for two topics, and an example of what happens when you don’t do this.

Hub pages: what are they and why do you need them?

In this context, a hub page is a page themed around a certain topic or keyword. It could be a tag page, like this for SEO, or perhaps a category page.

Sites which produce a lot of content around the same topic often end up competing with themselves for search positions.

This is especially true with news articles, as in the New York Times example here. News articles are generally brief and will come and go in the search rankings. However, linking them to a hub page helps signal to Google that this is the page that should rank for a particular keyword or term.

To demonstrate how this works, here are some examples from Mail Online.

Search term ‘Chelsea News’

Mail Online had no hub page strategy of any kind until recently. Dan Barker (@danbarker on Twitter) pointed this out recently, and estimates that Mail started this strategy around October 25 last year.

This means we can get a before and after picture looking at the effects of this tactic.

Here, we have the search results for the entire Daily Mail domain for the …

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